Harvey Norman puts in-store expertise into consumers’ fingertips with messaging

Harvey Norman is one of the most trusted retailers for home goods and electronics, with roughly 200 franchised complexes in Australia. They pride themselves on providing seamless, best-in-class customer service that offers the same experience online as it does in-store.

The retail giant was already using web chat to help answer online customer questions, but wanted to engage a larger percentage of their customers and offer a more robust service. In October 2018, Harvey Norman Online partnered with LivePerson to realize their vision for a better service solution: conversational commerce that leverages AI-powered chatbots and spans a multitude of messaging channels.

"Harvey Norman wanted to make life easier for consumers, fit into their schedule, and be on all the messaging platforms they are already on."

“Harvey Norman wanted to make life easier for consumers, fit into their schedule, and be on all the messaging platforms they are already on,” said Gary Wheelhouse, Chief Digital Officer at Harvey Norman.

Over 90% of people’s day to day conversations happen in digital messaging channels, and Harvey Norman recognized they need to be where their consumers already are. As a result, they launched the next iteration of their messaging and customer service platform on Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and SMS.

Now, Harvey Norman Online customers can message directly from their preferred messaging channel to learn more about holiday specials, get product information and more. Just like in your local store, the Harvey Norman Live Chat team are real people with a real passion for finding customers the right product for their needs.

"This is the digital version of what customers love
about visiting a physical store."

Conversational commerce enables Harvey Norman to give consumers quick fingertip access to the in-store experts they’re used to. “This is the digital version of what customers love about visiting a physical store. If you’re remodelling your kitchen, for example, now you can reach an expert by whatever messaging app you like. It’s a much better, much richer experience now,” elaborated Wheelhouse.

The high level of customer satisfaction from messaging says it all, and Harvey Norman proudly maintains an exceptional CSAT.

AI-powered chatbots are the future of retail

With scalable messaging channels in place, Wheelhouse revealed that chatbots are Harvey Norman’s next milestone in building a powerful customer service platform. “Customers wanting order updates are a great example of how bots can respond with known information,” he continued. “Once the bot is live, Live Chat agents can focus more on specific consumer needs and products, delivering more of the expertise Harvey Norman is known for.”

Chatbots can handle a wide range of basic questions, freeing up agents to handle more high-value and sophisticated requests. They’re cheaper, just 10% the cost of a human interaction, and can handle a surprising percentage of retail inquiries — roughly 70% according to a LivePerson analysis of over 20 years of chat transcripts.